Simon Harriyott

Learning WIMP

I'm taking over a website for a new client, who happens to be a friend of mine. The remit was to tidy it up, and give it a modern look, whilst retaining the existing functionality and 300+ articles posted in the CMS.

The existing site is hosted on the other side of the world, as a LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP) application, using the phpnuke framework.

Being a Microsoft fanboy, I've used neither L, A, M or P before. I have no intention of buying and setting up a new machine with L and A, so I'm going to settle with Windows and IIS, and install M and P on that, which appears to be called WIMP.

Not knowing anything much about M and P, the first job was to find out which versions are installed on the host. Fortunately this turned out to be easy - I just uploaded a couple of text files with a bit of PHP code asking for the versions. The versions seem to be about a year old, and were still available for download on the MySQL and PHP sites.

Having done a "view source" of the homepage of site, it turns out to be a really nasty table layout, which I want to change for web-standards compliant CSS. Having had a really quick look at the phpnuke framework, it seems to have a themes module. I'm not yet sure whether the themes are generating the table layout, or phpnuke itself.

I'm trying to replicate the site on my PC, so I can tinker with it without breaking anything important. Having installed everything, I've got three errors, and it won't connect to the database. That doesn't seem too bad for a first attempt.

Anyway, I'm really excited to be learning some new stuff, and prettying up a dry looking website.
4 April 2006